When you walk into Antico Noe, you find a clean, simple space with tiled walls, a cool logo on the wall, and a display case with the best panini you will ever eat.
The best panini you might ask?! That is quite a claim to make, but allow me to explain.
There are two owners, Michael Grant and Vinny Dautaj. Michael spent a semester studying abroad and while living in Florence fell in love with a popular 70+ year old sandwich shop, Antico Noe. He also befriended Vinny who worked at a restaurant in Florence. Vinny would marry an American girl and move to New York where the two friends would reconnect and form a plan to bring this panini to the US. It required brilliant negotiation with the owners in Florence, studying there, and a dedication to remaining authentic to the original. Thankfully for the rest of us, all we have to do is show up in the shop on 53rd street in Midtown Manhattan and pick the sandwich of our choice.
There are currently ten different panini to choose from. I brought my cousin along for this delicious experience and we tried #21 which includes prosciutto de parma, tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella, evoo, balsamic glaze, and Antico Noe’s famous pesto sauce. We also tried #13 the vegetarian with marinated eggplant, roasted onions, marinated sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and Antico Noe’s famous olive oil spread and pesto sauce.
Every single ingredient in the panini is homemade, the sauce, the marinated vegetables, the fresh, crunchy bread, which is pressed as you order, making each bite perfection. They also offer a few different salads, like tomato and mozzarella skewers with basil, olive oil and balsamic glaze.
Though there is counter space and a couple of chairs, it is mostly a ‘grab and go’ kind of spot. I visited later in the day when it was a little quieter, but it is worth waiting for during the lunch time rush. They also cater so you can bring a true taste of Florence to your next party.
Don’t miss out and treat yourself to this authentic Florentine experience right here in NYC!